Press releases

Sports for Development: A pilot initiative by United World and the International Trade Centre to boost youth entrepreneurship

7 May 2021
ITC News

(Geneva) – United World and the International Trade Centre announced today the launch of a new initiative – Sports for Development – that leverages on the spirit of sports to promote inclusive development, increase employment opportunities through skills development and to boost entrepreneurship among youth.

A memorandum of understanding formalizing the partnership was signed between Abdullah Alghamdi, CEO of United World (UW) and Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) on 7 May 2021 at ITC in Geneva, Switzerland.

The three-year collaboration, that will reach out to 1000 youth globally, focuses on a number of key areas, including skills development, building a conducive ecosystem; promoting related industries and engaging with other partners to expand its results.

United World and the International Trade Centre recognize that sports is an important enabler of sustainable development as it promotes tolerance and respect as well as contributes to  development and peace. The inclusive nature of sport allows the development programmes to work at both personal and community levels while building social capital and strengthening networks.

‘ITC is closely engaged with youth through its targeted programmes to build skills for employment, promote entrepreneurship and enhance access to finance. With the Sports for Development initiative in collaboration with United World, we aim to accelerate our work on the ground using an inclusive approach to attract more young women and men from remote regions’. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre.

‘At United World, we seek investments in sports franchises, which are deeply integrated with, and aim to further develop their societies, as the clubs reach their potential. We want to show utmost care for our stakeholders and remain committed to our vision of creating a sustainable sports ecosystem. Our group have a long and proud history of promoting sports, as a mean in assisting the development of youth on and off-the fields. Together with ITC, we are happy to have the opportunity to train sports professionals of the future and to help them in creating more opportunities, especially in the post-pandemic era’. – Abdullah Alghamdi, CEO of United World SA.

‘I am extremely excited and honoured to be part of this meaningful partnership, which deeply connects with me. Sports for me isn't about running behind a ball or scoring a goal, or reaching the finish line it's about what happens throughout the game that teaches you important lessons you can implement in your everyday life. These life lessons allowed me to further my knowledge in different sports, such as the development of female football in Saudi Arabia, opening a swimming academy, chairing Alhilal United at UAE, and holding different board positions at clubs in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France. I'm excited to follow my dream through this Sports for Development initiative’. – HRH Princess Reem bint Abdullah, Co-founder of the Alyamamah Football Academy and Chairwoman of Alhilal United.

This programme contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular through promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Notes to the Editor

About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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About United World - Based in Geneva, Switzerland, United World collaborates with sports enterprises to advise and inspire to achieve objectives by providing comprehensive, measurable, defined, cost-efficient and high-quality services. United World partners with a number of organizations across the globe, specializing in the world of sport. Partners include English Premier League club, Sheffield United, Belgian First Division A club, K Beerschot VA, French Ligue 2 club, La Berrichonne de Châteauroux, UAE Second Division League club, Al-Hilal United, and Indian club, Kerala United.

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